We strongly discourage the use of public dog parks since they’re uncontrolled and often dangerous environments. Something you may not know is that adult dogs do not always respond well to puppy energy and could even bite or attack your puppy as a result. If you must go to a dog park or off-leash area we suggest going during the early hours of the day, or late evening when large groups are less likely to be playing. You’ll want to avoid the hours between 10am and 2pm because this is the time when many ‘pack walkers’ will drop off large groups of very excited pups and a new puppy will certainly be something they will
take note of!
If you see that there are other dogs already inside an off-leash area, always make sure you ask the other owners if their dogs are ‘good with puppies’ before letting them socialize. As a great alternative you can always exercise your pup at a positively reviewed Doggie Playcare, just make sure you call ahead since there may be specific requirements for acceptance and many Playcares will not accept puppies.
If you ask someone if their dog is good with puppies and they hesitate, it probably means they aren’t. Even when they say they don’t know, they usually do, so read between the lines and always err on the side of caution to keep your puppy safe. If you are not experienced with dog-behaviour or the warning signs of high-risk situations, it’s best to avoid off-leash parks completely. As we mentioned, we don’t use public off- leash parks at all because it is our experience that they can be more harmful than beneficial due to negligent owners or packs of pups being brought-in all together and then unleashed on the park in a frenzy.
The great thing about have a pup though, is that the choice is yours to make. Collect your information, know the risks and rewards, and then make the decision that is best for you and your pup.